Inflammation is bad.  It happens when your body recognizes something foreign like pollen, chemicals or a pathogen (a bacterium or a virus) and attempts to remove it thus starting the healing process.  Acute inflammation that comes and goes signifies a healthy, balanced immune system.  Chronic (long-term) inflammation in a persistent inflammation that can cause destruction of tissues and cells and can be very detrimental to your body.  What you eat may increase your body's inflammatory state and also set you up for some chronic conditions.  

Chronic, day to day inflammation has been linked to many diseases including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer's, cancer and depression.  Harvard health has a great article on foods that reduce inflammation and it's referenced several times in this post.  

Hormones, environmental toxins and psychological stress can cause inflammation in our bodies as well.  Drink lots of water, manage your stress and avoid environmental toxins (pesticides, plastics, heavy metals, pollution etc...) as much as possible.   

So how does food contribute to inflammation?  Most people on high-carbohydrate, low-protein diets are encouraging inflammation, but listen to your own body to observe what foods cause inflammation in you. 

What kinds of food cause inflammation?


  • Refined sugars/carbohydrates

  • Saturated fats (pizza, cheese)

  • French fries and other fried foods

  • Sugary beverages

  • Red meat and processed meat (burgers, steaks, hotdogs)

  • Margarine and shortening

  • MSG/mono-sodium glutamate (in fast food, some prepared asian food and soy sauce, processed soups)

  • Gluten and casein (proteins found in dairy and wheat)

What kinds of food prevent inflammation?


  • Fruits (apples, berries)

  • Leafy greens

  • Olive oil

  • Fatty fish (salon, tuna, sardines)

  • Tomatoes

  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts)

The Mediterranean diet is high in healthy oils, nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains. Dr.Perricone, a dermatologist and "Father of The Inflammation Theory" also has great principles on how to eat to reduce inflammation in the body.

I've noticed that when I plan my meals a little better and limit processed foods, that there are some immediate effects on my energy and mood. If we can have such noticeable short-term effects, imagine the long-term benefits of following a similar healthy diet!

WellnessJoanna Simmon